Editorial, March 2012 Issue

Shyam Sharma

Welcome to Choutari again!

First the contents.

Pursuing our interest for including practical ELT resources/ideas, we have included three entries that you might find relevant to your classroom teaching. The first is an entry on teaching language functions within a broader concept, the second an entry on teaching research, and the third one a reflective teaching experience about students who seemed to be inattentive in class. Because the 17th International NELTA Conference was just held in Kathmandu and Chitwan, we asked one of the rapporteurs to share a brief report (we will include more on this next month). Then there is a narrative piece on the idea of “teacher” as a verb/action. This time, we have included a piece based on poetry (and we’ll leave it to you to draw pedagogical implications from the entry). And, finally, there is a thoughtful piece on pedagogy in the age of digitally globalized world.

  1. A Report of the 17th International Conference of NELTA” (a report from one of the rapporteurs, Praveen Yadav)
  2. Mapping ‘Bottom Up’ Pedagogy in the Age of Digitally Globalized World” (an essay by Marohang Limbu)
  3. Teacher as a ‘Verb‘” (a reflection by Prem Phyak)
  4. Teaching Language Functions as a Broader Concept” (an entry containing teaching methods/ideas by Mandira Adhikari)
  5. Research for Tertiary Level Presenters” (another entry with practical teaching tips by Hem Raj Kafle)
  6. “Strange Noise” (a reflection on a teaching experience by Parmeshwor Baral)
  7. Language Communication Through the Spoken Word” (a piece related to the use of literature in the teaching of language, by Sarita Dewan)

Then a quick thought about Choutari.

For some time, I have been thinking about a title for an imaginary article: “Blackouts, ‘Bad’ English, and the Beauty of Blogging: Scholarship and Professional Development in the Global Periphery.” Such an article could be a nice tribute to the readers, writers, and those who have otherwise been a part of Choutari. It could also be a tribute to those who believe that the older mode of scholarly communication has changed, and in fact, it should keep changing.

First, there is the power cut (blackout) for incredible amounts of time in Nepal, further diminishing our readers’ access to the internet, which is already limited. But this community shows that where there is will, a community like this will find a way. Second, judged from the traditional standards of publication, the language (English) in the texts published in this blog-zine is not highly standardized. Editors of Choutari don’t have too much time on their hands, being a volunteer group; but even if they do, a polished language is not priority number one. We first spend time to collect materials, trying to find contributions by our fellow teachers in Nepal and sometimes from abroad, contributions that our readers (also mostly teachers across the country) might find useful. In whatever time remains, we help writers revise and edit, trying to help them do that wherever we can. What is most important is not the language and grammar, it’s the idea. Finally, a blog–even when it is turned into a magazine of sorts, like this one–is a blog, so we actually try to keep entries short, simple, and not too formal.

But therein lies the beauty. As a blog, this venue circulates new ideas quickly. It allows a community of teachers across Nepal and across the world read, share comments, promote posts, and contribute to the forum from wherever they are. And that is how in three years, we have more than 42,000 views, 200 posts, 500 comments, and countless shares and likes.

So, please enjoy another issue of the beautiful forum that you have helped build in your own way. Like the shade under a tree in a village yard or on the way to one, Choutari is yours, it is everyone’s place to gather and share ideas, to create new knowledge. Please do not forget to encourage the writers by leaving comments. Please also share entries on your social networking sites.

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